I’m finally nearly finished with my post-vacation catch-up process. Earlier in March, N and I took a week off to visit Florida on a vacation with a heavy eco-tourist bent. We spent two days in various bits of the southeastern Everglades, and also visited parks and other natural sites in Key Largo and the Fort Lauderdale area.
I’m not very well-traveled, so for me, this was a visit to an entirely new environment. Frankly, a not-insignificant amount of my conception of South Florida came from the old Dave Barry humor books I read as a kid, and also from CSI: Miami. I’d never seen a palm tree or an alligator out living in the world before, and even now, neither of those things feels quite real to me.
I can now confirm that Florida is pretty enchanting. I’m a big fan of the small lizards running around everywhere, the air plants and Spanish moss, and the birds that inhabit the wetlands. Having a blast of warm weather in the midst of a New England winter certainly didn’t hurt.
My only big complaint was, of course, the mosquitoes. I feel like such a wimpy tourist saying that, but it’s true. Even though it was winter and quite dry, on certain trails, they resisted every attempt at repellent. I cannot imagine what they’re like in the summer.
As it turns out, I’m more allergic to mosquito bites than I had thought, so I would up sporting a rather startling level of hives. Mosquitoes may be intellectually interesting and have their place in the ecosystem, but also, I hate them. (Though I don’t react to poison ivy, so I suppose it balances out.)
I took a lot of pictures, or at least a lot for me—about 5,500 altogether—and it’s taken me a while to review and edit all of them and upload them to my Flickr account. That project is finally finished, though, and you can find all my photos in my Florida Adventures album. Many aren’t particularly great photos, namely some very blurry lizards and birds, but I was more concerned with trying to keep as broad a record as possible of what I encountered.
At the moment, I’m trying to identify and learn more about some of the flora and fauna I photographed in Florida. Most of them are species I’m not familiar with, so it’s a challenge, but it’s really enjoyable to try and better understand a place so different from the place I live.
So that’s where I am right now. Of course, posts about South Florida creatures and habitats will be interspersed with posts about spring coming to the Boston-area woods, which is the other big thing going on right now. Snow and rain have prevented me from getting much hiking in recently, but I have high hopes for the near future.